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37 dogs rescued from suspected dogfighting ring are ready for adoption in Tacoma

The dogs were seized in December. The shelter says all the dogs have been friendly, loving and sociable since arriving at the shelter.

TACOMA, Wash — Thirty-seven dogs that came into the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County from a suspected dogfighting ring are now up for adoption. 

KING 5's Christin Ayers got an exclusive first look at the progress the dogs have made since they were seized in December. 

When the shelter took over the care of the dogs, most of them were malnourished and terrified. 

“They did come to us malnourished and they were scared,” said Tacoma Humane Society spokesperson Victoria Gingrey. But Gingrey said in two months’ time, the dogs have come full circle.

“These dogs are lovely. They're very friendly. They're very social,” she said.

The dogs range in age from a few months old to five years old. They are all pit bulls. 

Gingrey said all of the dogs have been evaluated by the Humane Society and were deemed adoptable after hours of observation and enrichment.

Any prospective adopter will need to fill out an application with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. A comprehensive background check will also be conducted.

The Humane Society began accepting adoption applications Thursday, and the dogs will be available once they have been spayed/neutered and standard medical care is completed.

RELATED: Adoptions free up space for Tacoma Humane Society following dog-fighting sting

A Pierce County judge ruled that a man arrested on suspicion of animal abuse and dog fighting will not get 49 dogs back that were confiscated from his Tacoma home.

In a ruling in January, Pierce County Judge Jeanette Lineberry called the conditions that the dogs were living in on Elmer Givens Jr.’s property “deplorable.”

“I'm not going to allow the return of the dogs to your care,” Judge Lineberry told Givens.

Animal Control Officer Kerry Bayliss told the judge a garage where Givens was keeping the dogs had an “overpowering” smell of urine and feces. Inside, she said dogs were caged, lying deep in their own feces.

Bayliss said most of the dogs were emaciated, and some had cigarette burns, pellet gun wounds, and scars on their faces and muzzles.

Givens had until the end of Tuesday to appeal the district court decision, and he did not, according to Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer.

RELATED: Pierce County man suspected of running pit bull fighting ring sues to get dogs back